16:36 GMT26 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The joint clinical trials of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and UK-Swedish AstraZeneca's vaccine against the coronavirus will start very soon, head of the research center that developed Sputnik V, Alexander Gintsburg said Thursday.

    "[Russian Direct Investment Fund] RDIF and AstraZeneca agreed to hold joint clinical trials, which would use Oxford-made component as the first injection, and Sputnik V component as the second one. As far as I understand, these trials will begin in the near future," Gintsburg said, as aired on Rossiya 24 broadcaster.

    In this handout photo released by Hungarian Foreign Ministry, laboratory assistants carry a bag with Russia's coronavirus vaccine Gam-COVID-Vac, trade-named Sputnik V inside, in Budapest, Hungary
    Hungarian Foreign Ministry Press Service
    In this handout photo released by Hungarian Foreign Ministry, laboratory assistants carry a bag with Russia's coronavirus vaccine Gam-COVID-Vac, trade-named Sputnik V inside, in Budapest, Hungary

    Earlier, the head of Russia's Gamaleya research institute that developed the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine expressed the belief that AstraZeneca's vaccine's efficacy might increase if combined with a component of Sputnik V.

    "We expect that the efficacy of their vaccine will increase with the use of a second component," Alexander Gintsburg explained to Sputnik.

    On 11 December, UK-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca accepted cooperation offer from developers of Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V to study Covid-19 vaccine combinations.

    "Today we announce a clinical trial programme to assess safety and immunogenicity of combination of AZD1222, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and Sputnik V, developed by Russian Gamaleya Research institute. It will begin enrolling adults aged 18 years and older," the UK-Swedish company said.
    ​"AstraZeneca accepted RDIF’s proposal and will begin clinical trials of its vaccine in combination with Sputnik V’s human adenoviral vector type Ad26 by the end of 2020," RDIF said.

    According to the Russian sovereign wealth fund, these trials will help the UK-Swedish company study whether the efficacy of their vaccine can be increased by a combined approach.

    In August, Russia became the first country to register a COVID-19 vaccine, which was named Sputnik V. The clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya research institute, have demonstrated that its efficacy rate is over 90 percent.

    Tags:
    COVID-19, Vaccine, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V
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